Friday, August 30, 2013
On June 12, select members of the Wando Chorus, led by director Eric Wilkinson and associate director Mary Elizabeth Goodson, traveled to Italy for eight days. The group consisted of 80 students and adults. They began their time in Venice, where they toured St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the surrounding area.
On the second day, Wando Chorus took a vaporetto, a Venice water taxi, to the Chiesa di San Salvador, The Church of Saint Salvador in the heart of Venice, to give a 30-minute concert. The group next traveled to Florence, where they were able to tour Santa Maria
della Fiore, the Gates of Paradise and the Ponte Vecchio.
The choir traveled to a small town in Tuscany to perform in a music festival for the
local community. After the festival, local women of the Chiesa San Bartolomeo, The Church of Saint Bartholomew, prepared an Italian feast for the choir. The chorus was able to enjoy authentic home-cooked Italian food while meeting members of the community.
After Florence, Wando Chorus continued to the last stop of the trip: Rome. The highlight of the trip for many students and parents was the chorus’ participation in the 5 p.m. Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on June 17 in Vatican City.
The following day, the group enjoyed a personal tour of Vatican City, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Their last day in Italy, Wando Chorus toured the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and the Pantheon, where they gave a brief impromptu
The trip was a fast-paced, rewarding one. Many of the students and adults are ready to travel again.
“Mr. Wilkinson and I were so proud of how Wando Chorus represented their school, community, state and nation,” said associate director Goodson. “They were the absolute picture of patience, professionalism and politeness for the entire duration of the trip. I am thrilled that the students got the opportunity to learn about another culture’s history, language, food, traditions and music. We will be traveling again very soon.”